Fate Of Passengers On Lost Titanic Exploration Sub Revealed

By Jason Hall

June 22, 2023

Search for Titanic submersible continues after undersea noises detected
Photo: Getty Images

OceanGate Expeditions, the company that hosted the submersible that vanished during its mission to explore the wreckage of the Titanic, confirmed that all five passengers onboard, including its CEO Stockton Rush, "have sadly been lost," in a statement released on Thursday (June 22).

“We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost,” the company said in a statement obtained by CNN. “These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans. Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time. We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.”

A debris field was discovered by a remote-operated vehicle in the search for a submersible that vanished during its mission to explore the wreckage of the Titanic, the United States Coast Guard's Northeast branch announced on Thursday prior to the company's statement.

"A debris field was discovered within the search area by an ROV near the Titanic. Experts within the unified command are evaluating the information," the agency tweeted.

OceanGate Expeditions' 'Titan' sub was reported to only have 96 hours of oxygen and exceeded that total as of 7:08 a.m. ET on Thursday.

The Coast Guard confirmed that a remote-operated vehicle used in the search had "reached the sea floor" and looking for the vessel.

“The French vessel L’Atalante is preparing their ROV to enter the water,” the Coast Guard added via the New York Post.

On Wednesday (June 21), a reported "banging" sound in the search for the missing submersible led to a "cause for hope," according to Richard Garriott, president of The Explorers Club.

A Canadian airplane aiding in rescue efforts for the submersible that disappeared while on a mission to explore wreckage of the Titanic reportedly detected "banging" in 30-minute intervals in the last area in which the vessel was reported to be when it lost radio contact with its surface ship, according to internal emails sent by the Department of Homeland Security's National Operations Center obtained by Rolling Stone.

“RCC Halifax launched a P8, Poseidon, which has underwater detection capabilities from the air,” the DHS e-mails read. “The P8 deployed sonobuoys, which reported a contact in a position close to the distress position. The P8 heard banging sounds in the area every 30 minutes. Four hours later, additional sonar was deployed and banging was still heard.”

The submersible -- which differs from a submarine as it relies on outside support, rather than renewing its own power and breathing air -- offered passengers an up-close experience to explore the Titanic wreckage in the Atlantic Ocean for $250,000 and was only the third mission hosted by OceanGate Expeditions since initially being offered in 2021.

The sub was reported to have less than 40 hours of oxygen remaining during an update on Tuesday (June 20).

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